After Rosemary Orub attended a Partners International-funded training on agriculture and poultry small businesses in Juba, South Sudan, she immediately went out and bought three hens and one cock.
“I was thinking of how to get some money to support myself,” she says. While she also holds a job as a government secretary, salary delivery is notoriously inconsistent in South Sudan, sometimes lapsing for as long as seven months at a time.
“I—there was nothing, I could get nothing before, but the training gave me willingness to try.”
But just as Rosemary’s first batch of chickens began to multiply, there was sickness in Juba and they all died.
Now she’s on round two, with thirteen chicks and nine eggs on top of the hens and cock. She plans to sell the chicks this winter once they have been fattened.
Even this batch hasn’t been free of trouble. The chicken coop she erected out of bamboo was destroyed by termites and now she’s keeping the chickens in her kitchen.
“The chicks which I have now, they eat a lot,” she laughs. “And I think I have to improve their shelter, and they need something like medicine.”
The profits from her poultry business will go towards Rosemary’s remaining three children’s school fees. Widowed some twenty years, she credits her husband with her decision to become a Christian.
“He was not good,” she says of the beginning of their marriage. “He liked quarrelling and fighting and the time was very difficult, so I went to live with my family.”
Her husband learned about Jesus Christ through a missionary. “He came back to me and said, ‘Madam, now my life is changed. Will you come back?’
“It was because of Jesus Christ we reunited,” she remembers, “and I became a believer.”
On the wall of their house he wrote Joshua’s exhortation to the Israelites—as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
“Really it was like he was prophesying,” Rosemary smiles in wonder. “Because now he has died I am still serving the Lord.”
Before, she says, when someone annoyed her, it was very difficult to forgive. But when she became a Christian she discovered the importance of forgiveness.
“When I find someone suffering, I feel like helping him, and always I talk about the goodness of Jesus Christ. When they ask questions, at the beginning they find it very difficult, and when I discuss it with them biblically they become happy.”
She says the theological training she’s received through AIC has opened her own eyes spiritually as well. She has learned more about God’s life and about Jesus’s mission as a servant.
“The Israelites, they believe we become better by works, not faith. But everyone here knows it is by faith in Jesus Christ.”
Reflecting on her poultry business, Rosemary is hopeful. “In my future I’m encouraged because everything I’ve given to God,” she says.
“He is always with me. Anything I do in His name, of course it will prosper.”
Ways to pray for Rosemary Orub:
- pray for blessings for Rosemary’s family, particularly for the children’s study in school
- pray that God will expand her poultry business